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Food Holding and Warming Equipment Overview

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Food Holding and Warming Equipment Overview

All foodservice operations need some form of food warming. The reason why this is so vital is because it keeps the food warm and safe until it goes out to the customer. Maintaining a proper temperature is not only the law but it promotes a positive experience for your customers. Making them want to come back for repeat business. Their are many different options available for your front of house and back of house. Warming equipment doesn't have to be complicated here are five things to think about when looking at this category how much capacity do it need, what are you serving, how are you plating, where will you use it, and it is properly certified? Restaurant Equipment World can help you answer some of these questions below to help you find what works best for you.

1. Heat Lamps: These can be divided into two basic groups, strip warmers, and bulb warmers. The right one for you will depend on your application. Both are ideal for keeping food warm over a short period of time. Such include but are not limited to foods like French fries, chicken, bread, and veggies.

Strip warmers consist of one or two rows of heating elements in a long metal housing. These are typically used when you need more intense heat than from a bulb warmer. Their frames also offer added durability. Strip light warmers are commonly found in both the front of house and the back of house. You can often find them front of house in buffet lines to produce heat for the food underneath while also providing light to show it off. Strip warmers are built in plenty of different lengths to fit your needs. In the back of house you will find strip warmers mounted above a pickup shelf or in staging area, this is a great way to keep plated food warm until it goes out to the customer.

Bulb type heat lamps are the most economical choice in overhead heating and are usually used in merchandising applications because in addition to warming, they also provide light to present the product. Bulb type heat lamps provide less heat than a strip unit and can only cover a small area effectively. One of the big advantages of a bulb type heat lamp is they can be plugged into a standard wall outlet, unlike a strip warmers. This makes is easy to move the warmer where you need and change display areas. These are a perfect option for providing heat and light for a carving station. In the front of house not only are they used for carving stations but buffet lines and more. Bulb type heat lamps are excellent catering equipment too because of their mobility allowing you to transport then with ease. Bulb type lamps are not commonly found in the back of house but they can still be used for holding small items like French fries or chicken warm

2. Countertop Food Warmers:
The main purpose of food warmers is to keep food above the Hazard Analysis & Critical Control Point or (HACCP). This is a danger zone identified as between 41°F to 135°F where most pathogens will multiply in food. If food spends too much time in this danger zone it could lead to serious or fatal illnesses in guest.

You have two options when it comes to countertop food warmers, food warmers and rethermalizers. Food warmers keep food hot and above the danger zone and can come in different models such as food warmers and soup kettles. If you are using chilled or frozen food in a food warmer then it must be heated by other means such has a stovetop, or an oven. This is because food warmers are not able to heat frozen foods through the danger zone.

If you regularly heat frozen food then you may want to consider a rethermalizer. They are able to heat chilled or frozen food through the danger zone to a safe holding temperature in the same unit. This can cut down on the effort needed to prepare a dish.

3. Steam Tables and Food Wells: Steam tables are often used by caterers, buffets, cafeterias, hotels, and anyone else who needs to serve an army of hungry people. Steam tables are designed for holding hot food, not cooking it. Steam tables are excellent at holding hot food because the steam reaches all five surfaces, the four sides and the bottom of the pan. Steam transfers heat approximately five times better than water and around twelve times better than air. As a result, they allow you to prepare certain food in a quick and healthy manner. They also allow you to preserve the flavors of the food. Steam tables can also help increase the productivity in a commercial kitchen because they allow you to prepare food faster than traditional methods.

Food wells allow you to add convenience to your buffet, deli or banquet hall with refrigeration or hot food wells. Food wells are also handy for the back of house to keep prepared sides or entrees warm until serving. Depending on your menu and how many people you are serving will determine how many and what type of food well would be recommended. Most food wells can have all their wells all hot or all cold at one time. A few select models allow you to have a mixture of both hot and cold wells within one unit. This could save you space, and money buy cutting down the number of food wells needed.

4. Holding Cabinets and Carts: Heated holding cabinets are a necessity in all foodservice establishments. They keep food hot, even for hours after it was made. This is helpful so you won't waste food or time spent cooking. A great question to ask when looking for a holding cabinet is. Will it be used primarily for holding or serving? Non-insulated units generally cost less and are fine for holding applications where the door is not frequently opened and closed all the time. On the other hand, insulated cabinets will recover temperatures faster between openings, help save electricity cost, and are cooler to the touch.

We are here to help; Restaurant Equipment World is family owed and operated. We have experienced representatives available at your service. To help you choose the right food holding and warming equipment based on your needs and budget.

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